“First you shoot him over and now you stroke him – that’s an extreme contradiction for me!” Martin Rütter emotionally confronts a hunter in the new episode of “The Dog Professional on the Road”. The man had a roebuck that he had killed prepared as a hunting trophy.
Martin Rütter on a special mission: In the current episode of “The Dog Professional on the Road”, which VOX broadcast on Saturday, the dog trainer visits people who prepare animals – and those who bring stuffed four-legged friends home. Rütter wants to know how the craft of so-called taxidermy works and how people tick who have their beloved pet prepared for eternity after death.
For Martin Rütter himself, this is unimaginable: “I would completely rule out having my dog stuffed in front of the fireplace. That would make me sad again and again. I couldn’t bear it at all,” says the dog professional.
“The game gave its life for me” – “You took it!”
For taxidermist Uschi Hänel, however, working with deceased animals is part of everyday life. She prepares everything that her customers bring her, from domestic cats to parrots and game – just like the hunter who had the torso of a roebuck prepared by the expert. “This is my first piece of game that I was allowed to shoot after passing my hunting license,” explains the man proudly. When he sees the roebuck, he’s thrilled: “Wonderful, great!” he says, stroking the roebuck’s neck.
Martin Rütter observes the scene with a skeptical eye. “Now you go there and pet him, but you shoot him over anyway, isn’t that funny?” he asks the hunter. He is not irritated: “I stand in awe of him! This piece of game gave his life for me.” The dog professional comments sarcastically: “Yes, actively given, yes not. You took it!”
Rütter, who has also experimented with vegan nutrition, doesn’t want to be misunderstood, he emphasizes: “I think someone who eats meat can also shoot meat”. Taxidermist Hänel agrees: “If everyone who eats meat had to shoot their piece, fewer people would eat meat and we wouldn’t have the conditions that prevail in our animal stables.”
Martin Rütter takes on trophy hunters
But for Martin Rütter, the discussion is not over yet: “I don’t understand it for myself,” he says, turning to the hunter again: “The thrill you have is paid for with his life.” That’s the basic discussion that a hunter has to have, the man replies. “We are also obligated to meet a target. It’s not just a hobby. That may sound stupid, but combined with the thrill, it’s a really great experience that is reflected in this preparation ‘ the hunter makes his point.
He does not convince the dog professional with his argument: “For me, the whole thing remains an extreme contradiction. The obvious sense of the beauty of an animal on the one hand and the enthusiasm about the hunting success on the other. For me, it just doesn’t go together.”
Dog professional: “How quirky can you be?”
The dog professional has more understanding for a married couple that has both their two deceased shepherd dogs and two cats in their living room. “I thought it would be a pity to have such an animal buried and burned like that,” says the former pet owner. Her husband adds: “There were already sayings from people who thought it was funny. The coolest was: ‘You don’t put your dead grandmother next to you either!'”
“You don’t want to let go,” says his wife. “You stroke them when you walk by. They’re still there, even if it’s just the shell.” Martin Rütter seems thoughtful after the visit. “I’ll admit I was prejudiced: How quirky can you be? But I think everyone should mourn their pet the way they want to.” The dog professional still has absolutely no understanding for hunting trophies.